Once you have your blog up and running, you’ve got to learn how to become an effective blogger. In a previous post, I shared an essential checklist for new bloggers. It provided you with a blueprint for how to start your blogging journey. However, even with such a plan, man newbie bloggers make mistakes.
Of course, we learn from our mistakes. However, we can also learn from the mistakes of others.
I’ve put together a list of common mistakes that trip up new bloggers. Avoid these, or correct the errors already made, and you’ll be on your way to blogging success.
In brief, the five most common blogging mistakes made by newbie bloggers are:
- Your post reads like a textbook.
- Your personal experiences become a distraction.
- Your target audience is everyone.
- You think your audience cares more about you than they do about themselves.
- You become overwhelmed by social media.
Let‘s look at these in more detail. In the process, I’ll offer solutions to help you gain traction as a blogger.
Mistake 1: Your article reads like a textbook.
Solution: Write like you talk, and invest time finding your voice.
Even if your blog is the shop window to your business, your writing doesn’t need to be devoid of all personality. You can portray an air of professionalism and still write compelling content. Focus on informing and inspiring your audience, and avoid relying on stiff and formal language as a way to establish expertise or showcase intellect.
By injecting a conversational tone into your writing, you differentiate yourself from other bloggers. Plus, this writing style makes you appear approachable and relatable and increases your chance of establishing a direct connection with your audience.
Finding the right balance between professionalism and approachability takes practice. But there are a couple of things you can do to find your blogging voice.
- Write like you talk in professional situations.
- Avoid the slang that may creep in when you’re talking to friends, but generally, be yourself.
- Read other blogs and find a writing style you connect with. Then study the style and tone to replicate it in your own voice.
Mistake 2: Your personal experiences become a distraction.
Solution: Make sure the personal insights you share have a purpose.
Humans love a good story, and your audience will appreciate an anecdote or illustrative tale to showcase your experience. But make sure you use these to support a point, or else you could end up confusing your readers.
If your story doesn’t have a clear purpose or serve a specific role within your post, it may dilute its impact. Check that your personal insights aren’t derailing your content or leading your audience on a tangent.
Your first paragraph needs to introduce your topic, and your last paragraph should summarize your post. These act as bookends. The rest of the post should address your introduction and lead your readers towards your summary. Read through your post and make sure your anecdotes support the overall theme and add value to your reader.
Mistake 3: Your target audience is everyone.
Solution: Know who you’re writing for and their skill level.
You can’t write a blog post to appeal to everyone because you’ll end up appealing to no one. When you write a post, especially one to support your business, get a clear image in your mind of your target audience.
Consider their level of skill or knowledge. Are you appealing to beginners, intermediates, or experts in your field? When you write for a specific audience, you make some assumptions about their basic level of understanding and comprehension of the topic. Therefore, it’s important to caveat that at the beginning of the article.
If you want your blog to appeal to all skill levels, you can write about the same topic from different perspectives. Make sure it’s clear from your headline and introduction at whom who each article is aimed.
Mistake 4: You think your audience cares more about you than they do about themselves.
Solution: Write for your audience, not yourself.
Your blog is your platform, written in your voice with your opinions. Each time you write a blog post, make sure you have your audience front and center. Consider how your writing is going to benefit them. Be your authentic self and write from the heart, but don’t lose sight of the fact that your content has to have a purpose and solve a problem, challenge, or dilemma your audience faces.
We’ve already covered the importance of including personal experiences in your post. They’re useful for providing a reader with relatable anecdotes and can help anchor a complex topic in your reader’s world. Your stories and personal insights help your audience internalize what you’re trying to convey.
Mistake 5: You become overwhelmed by social media.
Solution: Don’t spread your presence too thinly.
It’s much better to use one social media platform well and effectively than to use multiple ones badly. If you try to be everywhere on social media, you’re going to get overwhelmed and give up entirely or become resentful of time spent on this activity.
Yes, you can share your posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, but social media isn’t a place to just broadcast your content. It’s a place to build an audience and make connections.
Part of your time on social media needs to include liking, sharing, and interacting with other people’s content. This takes effort and is time-consuming, but it’s more effective in the long term than being a blog post broadcast machine.
As a blogger, I’ve been challenged by each of these mistakes, and they’ve derailed my momentum. When you’re juggling many tasks, it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re writing on your topic. Always circle back and identify how you’re trying to help your reader. This focus will give you purpose and stop you from becoming disillusioned or overwhelmed with your blogging activities.
Have you encountered any of these challenges in your blogging career? Please share with us any tips you have about overcoming them. Leave a comment below.
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.